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A PRIMEDIA Property August 24, 2005 | 050824   
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 >> Logan Hawkes

 >> U.S. corn and bean crops suffer slippage

 >> Sorghum producers approve name change

 >> Over-banked and under-professional

 >> Lure helps keep Medfly out of U.S.

 >> News from the Top of the Hill

 >> Soybean rust fears premature in Texas

 >> Guidebook for specialty grains

 >> Over half of U.S. farms have Internet access

 >> Pioneer Customers Can Access New Resource

 >> CNW Reader Survey



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  EDITOR'S NOTE
Logan Hawkes
08/24/05    Crop News Weekly
While the kids head back to school this week in most places across the country, many producers are reaching peak season and keeping a close eye on the weather. My father used to say farmers have long kept their feet in the dirt - but their eyes on the skies. Times have changed of course, but I like thinking back to the day when the weather - and insects - were our biggest worries on the farm. It may not have been easier back then, but life was simple and largely innocent. Crop diseases that blow in from the four corners of the world, bio-terrorism, and genetically-modified politicians are sometimes a little hard to take. Enough rambling about the past. Anyway, politicians have always been the same.

This week we continue our journey through the world of agriculture with a cart full of news stories, from dry summer conditions and corn yield estimates to some new changes for the National Sorghum Association. Also this week, under-professional lenders, Medfly prevention and rust fears in Texas. And please take a moment to complete our special reader survey at the end of this newsletter. It helps us to serve you better.

The plate is full this week, so slide up to the computer table and dig in. Happy reading.



  FROM OUR MAGAZINES
U.S. corn and bean crops suffer slippage
08/23/05   
It's still too early to say for sure, but it looks like dry weather has had a significant impact on U.S. corn and soybean production. In its August 12 crop production report, USDA projected lower average yields than last month for both crops. Many in the business think the estimates still have room to decline. An example of the latter: USDA plugged in a 139-bushel yield for U.S. corn yield, the fourth highest August corn yield ever. "With crop conditions as of early August estimated the second worst in 12 years, this suggests to me that we are not going to reach those yields," said Richard Feltes, Refco, Inc. - by Elton Robinson, Farm Press Daily

Sorghum producers approve name change
08/22/05   
The National Sorghum Producers (NSP) has changed its name, adopted a new governing structure and celebrated its 50th anniversary. "As they say, it's all in a day's work," said NSP President James Vorderstrasse of Hebron, Nebraska. Vorderstrasse said that the name change from the National Grain Sorghum Producers to the National Sorghum Producers recognizes the sustained growth of the forage segment of the industry. "We made the change to recognize our ongoing commitment and involvement to both grain and forage sorghum producers." - from Southwest Farm Press

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Over-banked and under-professional
The Road Warrior of Agriculture writes: "A student at a recent banking school stated that we are over-banked in many of our agricultural and rural areas in America. Later, a farmer and rancher panelist voiced his concern that lenders tend to be under-professional. Wow, what a dilemma! Let's examine both sides of this coin." - by Dave Kohl, The Corn & Soybean Digest

Lure helps keep Medfly out of U.S.
08/16/05   
A lure developed by the Agricultural Research Service and Suterra LLC is helping keep the Mediterranean fruit fly out of the United States and giving other countries an effective, environmentally friendly control method. The product, BioLure 3-Component Fruit Fly Lure, is being commercialized by Suterra, which holds the exclusive license for the ARS patents. Suterra is marketing it in the United States, Spain, South Africa, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru. - from Western Farm Press

News from the Top of the Hill
08/19/05   
USDA Meat & Livestock Marketing Report - USDA Grain Inspection and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) have released an interim report on the use of marketing arrangements in the meat and livestock industries. The interim report describes different ways of marketing livestock and meat and the reasons various types of marketing arrangements are used. The interim study conclusions are:

  • "The livestock industry from farm to retailers is complex and generally involves using a portfolio of marketing arrangements: cash (spot) markets, marketing contracts, production contracts, and vertical integration.
  • Overall, there is congruence between economic theory, past empirical work, and discussions with industry participants on the reasons for selecting marketing arrangements.
  • Industry structure and trends have strongly influenced the portfolio of marketing arrangements in the cattle and beef industries.
  • A general trend is movement away from cash and spot markets toward alternative marketing arrangements in the hog and pork industries with unclear effects on producers, packers, and consumers.
  • The lamb industry continues to use primarily cash or spot markets with little use of alternative marketing arrangements, except for producer owned cooperatives.
  • Increased concentration and increased coordination with meat packers characterize the downstream meat industries.
  • Use of alternative marketing arrangements provides clear benefits to producers, packers, processors, and consumers that need to be weighed against the possible disadvantages."

    The final report is scheduled for 2006 which will include analyses of the advantages and disadvantages of various marketing arrangements. The interim report may be found at http://www.usda.gov/gipsa by following the "marketing study" icon.

    Australia Pork Case - Next week the Australian courts will hear the Australian government's appeal of the earlier court decision against the government's import risk assessment that allowed U.S. processed pork to be imported. The United States has been shipping record levels of processed pork since the government's decision last year to allow imports. - by Scott Shearer, National Hog Farmer

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    Soybean rust fears premature in Texas
    08/18/05   
    Brown spot, bacterial blight, bacterial pustule, frogeye leaf spot and downy mildew all produce "rust-like" lesions on soybean leaves. Diseases resembling Asian soybean rust have caused concerns among Texas Panhandle producers in recent weeks. However, Tom Allen, assistant research scientist and head of the Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory with Texas Agricultural Experiment Station in Amarillo, says Asian soybean rust has not yet spread to the Texas Panhandle. "Also, we want to make sure everyone understands there is only one kind of soybean rust. It is known as Asian soybean rust," Allen says. - by Kay Ledbetter, Southwest Farm Press

    Guidebook for specialty grains
    Think you can do better than the price of No. 2 Yellow? Premiums earned by growing "value added" crops such as food corn and other specialty grains can add to your bottom line. Earning that premium, however, takes extra work, investment and knowledge. For the knowledge part, Purdue University is offering a helpful resource to get you started. "Grainsafe" is an online manual that guides producers through the value-added-grain process. The manual contains grain production and handling practices and related record-keeping forms. - from Farm Industry News

    Over half of U.S. farms have Internet access
    A total of 51% of U.S. farms now have Internet access, compared to 48% with Internet access in 2003. 58% of farms have access to a computer in 2005, the same level as 2003. 55% of all U.S. farms own or lease a computer, up slightly from 54% in 2003. Farms using computers for their farm business increased one percent from 2003 to 31% in 2005. It appears that computer usage, ownership, and Internet access on farms are leveling off. In 2005, 79% of U.S. farms with sales and government payments of $250,000 or more have access to a computer, 77% own or lease a computer, 66% are using a computer for their farm business and 72% have Internet access. - from The Corn & Soybean Digest

    Pioneer Customers Can Access New Resource
    Pioneer customers now have a new tool to quickly find relevant information about crop management that can help their farming operation. The AgronomyLink resource, available exclusively on the Pioneer GrowingPoint Web site, offers articles, photos and studies from Pioneer and public sources on a host of crop production topics. - from The Corn & Soybean Digest

    CNW Reader Survey
    08/24/05   
    Invitation: Will you do us a favor? Please answer this brief survey to tell us more about yourself. Your answers will remain confidential, and used only in combination with all other responses. You will never be contacted as a result of taking this survey - we'll use the information to ensure we're providing the most relevant information for our readers. Thank you!



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